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Arcane Wanderer

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[size="4"][center][font="Impact"][color="#FF0000"]PLEASE READ PRIOR TO POSTING[/color][/font][/center][/size]

[size="3"]The last few times I have been around The Marble Dale Park the conversation has invariably turned to the topic of spoilers. There has been concern both about spoiling the learning process and about turning away new players by refusing help. I would like this to be a place where the subject can be explored.[/size]

[size="4"][b]When posting please keep the following in mind:[/b][/size]
[list=1]
[size="3"][*][u]Support your arguments with logical reasoning[/u] [/size](None of this "because I said so" business)
[size="3"][*][u]Be respectful of other opinions[/u] [/size](Or yours won't be respected)
[size="3"][*][u]When refuting arguments, support your logic[/u][/size] (Don't just say "you're wrong" and leave it at that. Why are they wrong?)
[size="3"][*][u]Do not attack people[/u][/size] (Who they are has nothing to do with their argument so leave out the name-calling, etc.)
[size="3"][*][u]Try to keep your examples spoiler free by using hypotheticals[/u][/size] (For example: say "if they tell them how to get past the guards" rather than "if they tell them ___" with the blank being filled with an actual method to defeat the guards)
[/list]
[size="3"]
This should be a [b]discussion[/b] not a fight. Consider the positive as well as the negative aspects of each view. By working together, we may be able to come up with some guidelines as to what constitutes a spoiler.[/size]

[b]
[size="4"]Some questions to consider:[/b][/size]
[size="3"][i][list]
[*]What is the definition of a spoiler?
[*]Does the location of the conversation matter?
[*]What are ways to help new people without using spoilers?
[*]Should there be a specific punishment for people who give away spoilers?
[/list][/i][/size]

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  • Root Admin

A spoiler is any infomation that is not freely avalible on the ingame help or description. This means ways to get papers are indeed a spoiler, but most would agree its perfectly fine to tell people where they are, If not disagreement on how to reach said place.

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Everything that is not in the rules, help pages, etc. is a spoiler. Because those are things people are supposed to be finding out on their own.

Yes. The more people listen, the worse the spoiler is, because it affects a lot more people. Most of them don't even ask for help, because they want to figure things out on their own, but there's no way to not read chat, really. It's like going through MD with your eyes closed, pointless.

Use cryptic hints, tell them where to look for hints, tell them what creatures they should pay more attention to.

Imo, no. Most of them are spilling things accidentally, and understand that they have to watch their mouth when being told so. If there ever happens to be somebody who doesn't, there's always mouth sewing, toad-turning and jailing. Without any special rules on what comes first...

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Actually, Chewy, I have stumbled upon a page while in MD While I was clicking around, and I believe it was the book next to the wish points, and a page came up about achievements.

It said that there was an achievement locker in the MDA Archives*. Not sure if that randomly popped up or not.

*Or maybe it said library... I cannot remember

Edited by Curiose
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I'd hoped that what is and what is not a spoiler would be left to common sense, because if you want a perfect definition, you're in for a very lengthy one. I'll list some simple properties of spoilers first:
[list=1]
[*]Spoilers are information/knowledge and as such most often (but not always) distributed by speech. Giving someone a (rare) creature allows that person to check its stats at first level. Those stats are information and are a byproduct of the gift, which involved no speech between spoiler and spoilee.
[*]Spoilers are information that relates to the subject being spoiled, in our case Magic Duel. In particular spoilers are information about MD mechanics and perhaps MD lore. Telling someone that X is an alt of Y does relate to MD, but if considered an offense, it should be labeled breach of privacy instead of a spoiler. If such information is used 'in character' it should be called breaking the fourth wall aka piss poor roleplay.
[*]Spoilers are information that was not known to the spoilee but was known to the spoiler before the spoiling occurred.
[*]Spoilers are information that is not in places like the FAQ...
[/list]
... and with that last property we'll get into trouble. A lot of things are excluded from being a spoiler by those who, rightfully, claim that things in the help pages are not spoilers. A lot of things are either not explicitly excluded or we have to infer what exactly belongs to 'etc' and what exactly is 'freely'. Is it a spoiler to tell people where the broken pattern puzzle is? Is it a spoiler to tell people what they'll get as reward, without listing the entire realm of options of what they can do with such a reward? That information is available in the announcements, hence free, but buried deeply in there. Is it a spoiler to give (the stats of) a level I creature from Loreroot as a reward for a task that is of broken pattern puzzle level? Is it a spoiler to tell that the paper dispensing is not in Golemus? And that it is also not in Necrovion? And also not to the right of the scene he's currently at, nor to the left of the one after that, but upwards and then some more and then to the left and you'll see ... and then you'll be there? Where do we draw the line?

Personally I propose the following additional vague properties:
[list=1]
[*]Spoilers are large chunks or complete information which could not be gained by spending next to zero X by the spoilee. X can be money, effort, time, ...
[*]Demanding reimbursement which is large compared to the amount of effort otherwise spent by spoilerfree inference should be considered theft.
[/list]
Examples:
[list=1]
[*]Suppose I give a new 1 AD player a remains just because I feel like it... I've now given that person the stats and possession of a level I nonstandard creature, which most often is gained after leveling other creatures a fair bit and then finding the right strategy in a rite of passage. When that person weeks afterward gains the ability to recruit remains, that victory will feel a bit less a triumph.
[*]Suppose I instead give pictures of every place I visited in MD and of every creature on every level I ever had. It will take two weeks or heavy bartering/shop investing for a new person to find something that has not become redundant. I hope nobody will argue this is not worse than spoiler 1.
[*]Suppose I rewarded a player with a remains after they spent two weeks trying to solve a quest of mine. (Yes I can make it so that people will need to spent that much time, the trouble is making it so that they don't give up before finding the answer.) This person could have used that amount of time to instead complete the tasks necessary to gain the ability to recruit them themselves, and more. Even if afterward they will not be as exited to get their first remains, they'll still be excited by all the other new stuff, and they have - hopefully - been very happy when getting that first remains, to have a total sense of achievement that is bigger than if they just ignored my quest.
[*]Suppose I sell newbies 1 day old remains at the price of one gold coin... I'm ripping newbies off and am prone to get sued. I guess the only things worse would be selling them at two gold coins or to try and sell Aramors (regular ones).
[*]Suppose, yes suppose, someone is impressed and inspired by my papers and wants to write their own. Is the task of finding the paper dispenser bigger than the task of dreaming a story and then telling it in as nice a way as possible? I have to think a long way back and sadly my memory is not all that.. but I do suppose when I found the dispenser, I thought 'oh that's where they are, how nice'. So yes, giving detailed instructions is kinda spoilerish, but the real fun in papers is spending two weeks writing them and still not being really happy about the results but getting nice comments from everyone anyway. And finally getting more, I was quite excited when I got more paper (twice) and I would be if I managed to get more again. I think that is very [b]personal and circumstantial[/b] though, a bit like getting a present on your birthday. It's nice, but if it wasn't for all the other things you like about your friends/family, you wouldn't care or even be insulted by it. Whereas if they don't give you a present or if it is one of those uninspired gift vouchers but you have a good time with them every other day, you're not going to become unhappy about the present.[/list]
Is it a spoiler? I suspect opinions will differ on the nature of 3, 4 and 5.
Do we care? I suspect opinions will differ on 1 and 5 and possibly also on 3.

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"Spoiling" the game for someone who wants to solve the puzzles themselves is the root issue. It should be obvious that you never spoil it for bystanders by giving away answers in public.

Applying this concept to private conversations gets a little more bizarre. Do we play "Daddy knows best?" and not give out information when the player is frustrated and asking for help? This has to be a matter for judgement and can't be covered by rules. We should try to make the game as good as possible for such person - finding the right balance between tease and reward.

But remember, this is not supposed to be a "zero sum game". We should be doing things to create ever more mystery and excitment in the game. Write more quests! Does everybody know that I'll put a pickle in the log of anybody who asks? Who knows what is on everybody's [Q] docs. There should be an infinite supply of such things to discover in the game.

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Everything that spoils the game experience is a spoiler.

Things I don't consider a spoiler:

Interface information (How do I transfer creatures?), some basic information regarding the mechanics (Various things from how much ap does it take to recruit the No Mands Land/MB creatures, to the fact that one can drop exp squishing things at an altar... Both of these are available to players, but not everyone takes the time to memorize everything in the game and I think sharing this information isn't going to ruin anyones game experience, if something, it will help ease some of the beginner frustration)

Things I consider a spoiler:

Giving away solutions to the puzzles/guard fights, showing lands to new players who haven't in some way earned it, giving them information like stats on higher levels of creatures or age and upgrade costs in higher levels... In short,if you spoil any or all of the things that leave you with a sense of minor or major achievement when you do them...)

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Re: debatable spoilers

For angiens, I personally would consider it okay to spoil VE and VP upgrade costs for people who don't have them, but not win & age requirements. Why? Because VE & VP can be prepared for in advance and can take a long time to prepare; spoiling saves time for the spoilee. For wins & age, spoiling doesn't help anything.

I would not consider it okay to spoil any of another creature's upgrade requirements, because they're not so difficult to achieve (in the case of regular creatures) or you should be fully prepared by the time you get them (in the case of winds and other rare creatures).


Generalizing, if a spoiler can prevent waste by the spoilee (in this case time) and make him/her better able to compete with mp5 alts, it is okay to me. Waste should not be confused with effort to achieving a goal.
Under this category I also place army composition recommendations, and the idea of spreading XP.



I will freely spoil how to get into Necrovion to any [b]mp5[/b] who does not know how. This is because of the relation of priests to falling in skilldamage (which is a cause of insane frustration to those in it, and which is easy to fall in at mp5), and because the information needed is freely available in the announcements (albeit deep).

I will freely spoil the fact that there is a relation between priests and skilldamage to anyone (but not its exact nature), for the above reasons.


Generalizing, if a spoiler can prevent frustration by the spoilee, it is okay to me.
Under this category I also place an explanation of what skilldamage is.

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  • Root Admin

[quote name='apophys' timestamp='1297729800' post='78866']
I will freely spoil how to get into Necrovion to any [b]mp5[/b] who does not know how. This is because of the relation of priests to falling in skilldamage (which is a cause of insane frustration to those in it, and which is easy to fall in at mp5), and because the information needed is freely available in the announcements (albeit deep).

I will freely spoil the fact that there is a relation between priests and skilldamage to anyone (but not its exact nature), for the above reasons.
[/quote]

See i would disagree that both of these issues are spoilers, Because people should find out themseleves, No such infomation in skill damage is avalible in the announcements, and therefore i personally would say that are a spoiler.

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[quote name='Chewett' timestamp='1297751892' post='78879']
See i would disagree that both of these issues are spoilers, Because people should find out themseleves, No such infomation in skill damage is avalible in the announcements, and therefore i personally would say that are a spoiler.
[/quote]
Actually, information on both skilldamage and access to odd places is available in announcements.

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Personally, I feel that spoilers (major or minor) are the freely giving of exact specifics of information, strategy, or other knowledge, regardless of if it's available waaaaay down in the Adventure Log, or the Announcements (sheesh, have you read the ENTIRE list of Announcements yet? I have, but wouldn't recommend it in one sitting!).

What I mean by exact details is saying "Go to ____ and do ___" to a question of where something is gotten/unlocked/etc. In the case of Personal Papers, merely suggesting the area and general directions TO that area are not spoilers. Exact stepping-stone directions and the name of the thing to click on, would be.

Likewise, when I asked about combat stuff initially, I heard some people say "Oh, just do XYZ"... however, I much preferred when two wonderful people offered to setup a test ritual and then gently suggested we discuss the Combat log and my findings. Yes, it took more time, but it didn't feel "spoilery" to me.

In a similar vein, when I first started playing, I considered it a spoiler when someone linked a specific thread in response to a question I saw another new person ask. That felt spoilery to me. A non-spoiler reply would have been to suggest "research _Land_ on the forums, and see what you find." This gives the person a good solid hint at where to learn things themselves, but avoids Direct Spoiler material.

Obviously the severity of spoilers differs greatly depending on the nature of the "question" wanting to be answered. Finding the perosnal papers is much different from forwarding a *.JPG of the Labyrinth, or script to solve the Broken Pattern puzzle (which I imagine exist out there somewhere, but have not seen myself, nor want to). Simple questions may, MAY, be possible to answer more directly without being considered "Spoiler", but even in the more minor cases, there are plenty of ways to say an answer that redirects the learning towards the questioner, rather than handing it out on a golden platter of reply. It's all a matter of semantics, probably, but it makes all the difference in my humble opinion.

In clarified concern,
-Maebius

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  • 1 month later...

Well. This may be difficult to avoid but try not to give giant hints.
Just give the smallest hint you can. Try to throw people off. Its a good learning experience for them. You can't just expect someone to give you the answer you need to let them figure it out or wait for whatever is happening.

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